It took all night, but when Perry Ferrell belted out “Jane says…” for the final song of the night, I felt like all was right in the universe.
Ferrell must have felt the same way, because he reveled in the fact that his band Jane’s Addiction is back together after so much has passed. Performing with the original Jane’s Addiction lineup, including Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Eric Avery, Ferrell hadn’t shared a stage with his band in nearly 17 years.
“In this beautiful night of darkness, let us celebrate death,” Ferrell announced. He mentioned that Jane’s Addiction’s first time on stage at the Gorge was 17 years ago, and “It doesn’t seem like we’re going to stop,” he said.
Ferrell closed the set with “Jane Says,” and though he referenced being enamored with the surrounds, shouted “goodnight Seattle.”
Nine Inch Nails took the stage before Jane’s Addiction, their set timed with the setting sun. The stage began glowing with late afternoon sun mixed with fog drifting across. Trent Reznor brought the audience to their feet when he began, the only band I’d seen to do so on the main hill.
“This is my favorite place in the world to be,” Reznor said, and given the occasion, he seemed sincere. After an energetic set with Trent running from sound station to sound station, the band closed with what has proved to be their biggest legacy, “Hurt.” Pegged as the last tour for NIN — their “Wave Goodbye” logo for the tour fueling rumors that they’re calling it quits — and the first of many for Jane’s, both bands closed last night with monumental milestones in their careers.
Performing at the same time on the secondary stage was Of Montreal, which I am only vaguely aware of from Volkswagen commercials. I had little idea how popular the band was. Their fans are quite wild, and Of Montreal packed plenty of them onstage for one song, and I swore I saw some dancing pink bunnies. Debauchery at it’s finest.
The highlight of my day — aside from the headliners — was the Airborne Toxic Event, a relatively unknown band this year. Violinist Anna Bullbrook stole the show with her dramatic moves, arching over speakers while stringing her violin.
The band’s hit “Sometime Around Midnight” was recognized, and lead singer Mikel Jollett admitted they were just a “new band with a homegrown record and we have no idea what’s happening in our fucking lives right now.” His humbleness was charming, the bands talents excellent.
They closed their set with a elongated version of “Innocence.” Chanting “Oh my God, oh my God,” Jollett’s enduring vocals soared through the crowd.
French rocker Anthony Gonzalez, performing with a few others under the M83 moniker were also an amazing live band. Gonzalez performed with a female vocalist/keyboardist and drummer. Their sensual hypnotic pop was trip the light fantastic and kept people dancing, even in the line for the bathroom.
Monday brings headliner Ben Harper and the Relentless 7. The campground is clearing but thousands are still milling around, prepping for another day of music.